It is around half past nine on Tuesday morning when my sister calls. I am at work and she never calls me during working hours, so it is bad news. That’s right. My brother had a cardiac arrest. It is a blow that comes hard. My second-oldest brother died in November and I am not ready for the next one. I have three brothers and three sisters, but still.
For those who do not know, my brother lives in Canada and that is far too far away when you hear such a message. I actually want to drop by right away. Not for a few days but just to go to the hospital, half an hour to visit, see how it is with him. I feel very much how much I want this and how painfully large the distance is, which makes it impossible. The last time, the last moment we saw each other was at Schiphol. Always Schiphol. Oh, I hate Schiphol (listen to Peter Koelewijn, KL 204). Place of saying goodbye and being brave, place of all the best and see you soon. And always for years.
Fortunately, we have a close family and modern means help us to bridge distances, blah blah. He is sitting, sorry, he lays far too far away. Or I of course. It depends on how you look at it. He is in good hands and his family is like a loving bunch of flowers around him. We are kept well informed and after a few exciting days the recovery starts. I feel relief and liberation. It goes well beyond expectations, although there are still many uncertainties. I wonder if he can drive, play guitar and travel again. Will I see him again at Schiphol? Place of loving encounter, place of embrace. How lovely that you are here. The messages are favorable and the pace is good, but always too slow of course. He takes control of small things again and I enjoy every step he makes while lying in bed. It is nice to hear everyone, his wife, his children, our bristers. It is a chorus of familiar voices in which everyone plays the instrument that has been entrusted to him or her now for my brother at its best. An orchestra and choir at once, playing in great harmony and singing the melody of tears and hope.
Things are going well, there is improvement, there is humor again, his character and voice are back again. There is still a long way to go and without a drive it may all take longer than you want, but the prospects are good and the blow is behind us, already absorbed by the past. I take a breath of fresh air.
Ate Vegter, April 21, 2018